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"Awakening" ©
Original Oil on Canvas, 36" x 36"
Gallery Wrapped on 1 1/2" Depth Stretcher Bar

Inspired by the herbaceous hybrid peony, Coral Charm
Artist Commentary on "Awakening":

Expanding my study of nature's beauty and diversity through the rare and exotic floral species that
influence human culture, history and art, I am now working on a new series of paintings that explore the
peony. With a similar track record of high esteem, attraction and healing as the orchid, peonies also date
back thousands of years, from the imperial palaces of China and Japan to ancient Greece. Regarded as
the national flower of China, the peony symbolizes peace and opulence; and in art and literature, alluring
female beauty.

”Awakening” is the first peony painting in a series inspired by my many visits to
Cricket Hill Garden in
Connecticut. Reviving my childhood love of the peonies my mom once cultivated, I am aware again that
flowers speak a universal language of beauty - one that creates profound emotions in the heart that last
far beyond our physical presence. This truth has shaped my perception of the world and continues to
inspire my art.

The painting and subsequent series, is a broadening of the scope of my muse and metaphor, the flower.
Through my artmaking process, I am perpetually seeking to understand and convey the nature of beauty.
Be it for aesthetics or biological necessity, most humans believe beauty is subjective to highly evolved
beings. But what of other mindless plants and organisms with forms that have beautifully evolved to
attract in order to survive?

In my oil painting, “Awakening”, I depict both the spirit and the seduction of the peony. I reveal a moment
in time in the flower’s ephemeral life cycle, while at the same time illuminating its very essence and
purpose. Petals delicately tinted with over forty layers of transparent oil color glaze are animated by light
and shadow. Against a backdrop of rich organic textures and forms, the peony entices the viewer
forward into its wild yet soothing embrace.

My longtime friend, scholar and collaborator, Thomas Mirenda, Director of Horticulture, Education and
Outreach for the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden, in Papaikou, Hawaii, eloquently wrote,” I totally love
your latest work of art...massive but delicate, colorful but such subtlety, compelling...inspiring wildness
but also the impulse to possess such wild beauty. You are so masterful in your ability to capture a
moment in time...and unfathomable loveliness.”
Detail of     

....Showing the highly
textured sculptural
groundwork of fossilized
botanical impressions,
over which
transparent layers
of oil color
coax light to animate
the floral form.

This masterwork has
around 70 layers-
30 to create the rich  
background upon which...
40 more translucent layers
bring the peony to life.
Detail of

...the artist uses the
underlying textures and
patterns to entice the
viewer to look deeper,
beyond the surface of the

Her signature style layers
luminous color...

...enhancing the interplay
of light and shadow.
Patricia Laspino
Detail of

...The center of the flower
is accented with subtle
strokes of metallic gold.

Like nature's flowers entice
pollinators, the artist uses
color, texture and light to
beckon the viewer forward
into the seductive realm of
this flower's center.